Garden nursery business plan for starting your own business

The plant and greenhouse industry is blooming! IBIS World reports $40 billion in 2018 sales, an enormous number with plenty of room to grow. The sales figures include stock, bedding and garden plants, sod, mushrooms, flowering foliage in pots, and many other products.

Of particularly good news for the budding entrepreneur who is intending to open a new operation is the fact the average horticulture operation has higher sales than the average U.S. farm. This is an industry ripe for innovation whether through the use of technology or through creative thinking. The first step towards startup is the development of a customized, professional plant nursery business plan.

Executive Summary

2.1 The Business

People appreciate nice landscapes around homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. They want well-kept parks, nicely maintained natural preserves, and highways bordered with hardy sod and local wildflowers. As the green movement grows, there is also a demand for more products like native varieties which require less watering and care, and plants that offer other benefits like high oxygen production and soil anchoring.

2.2 Management

The nursery plant business plan will address the ”hows and whys” of the operation. It should include all information relevant to startup that will guide decision-making, keep the company on track to fulfill its mission, and entice investors or lenders. Typical company information includes:

The experience level of the entrepreneur and other managers is critical because this is a highly specialized industry catering to well-defined markets. Whereas most consumers and commercial operations need paper, for example, the products sold by the operation are directed at a segmented market.

2.3 Customers

The overall theme of the nursery will influence the product line. Will the nursery cater to customers who want native plants to create natural ecosystems, green products suitable for particular climate zones, a variety of landscaping items, and/or indoor foliage? Will other items be offered for sale too, like flower pots, garden tools and decorations, and fertilizers?

2.4 Target of the Company

These are a few of the topics covered in the enterprise proposal. Developing the project is a critical first step towards successful startup. The process ensures the entrepreneur has carefully thought through critical details. The finished document can also be used to support requests for funding or financing from private investors, financial institutions, and government agencies.
Garden Nursery Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Garden Nursery Business Plan Example 1
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Company Summary

3.1 Company Owning

Garden nurseries can be started in areas that are suitably zoned. The entrepreneur should demonstrate that land use regulations are researched and appropriate licenses obtained.
The entrepreneur may need funding for land purchase and building and greenhouse construction. Nurseries need an irrigation system, storage buildings, heavy equipment for moving and delivering inventory, a warehouse, sales office, and so on. How much startup capital is needed? When is the nursery expected to start making a profit after accounting for costs?

3.2 Why the Business is being started

The status of local water supplies is a critical issue. What is the source of water? Are there permit requirements? Many areas are going through a drought and installation of efficient watering systems is mandatory.

3.3 How the Business will be started

The options are unlimited and include perennial and annual flowers, shrubs, trees, sod, other products like Christmas trees, agricultural seed products, starter plants, maintenance supplies, and so on. Will plants be grown in containers or rootballed, or sold as bare root or a mixture of production methods? Will the operation deliver to the customers’ sites? If so, it is important to have the right type of delivery equipment available.

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Startup Cost

The detailed start-up requirements, start-up funding, start-up expenses, total assets, total funding required, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital and liabilities as forecasted by experts, is given below:

Start-up Expenses
Legal$19 000
Insurance$34 000
Rent$47 000
Research and Development$21 000
Expensed Equipment$64 000
Signs$3 400
Start-up Assets$320 000
Cash Required$240 000
Start-up Inventory$43 000
Other Current Assets$13 000
Long-term Assets$78 000
Total Requirements$882 400
Start-up Expenses to Fund$188 400
Start-up Assets to Fund$694 000
Non-cash Assets from Start-up$549 034
Cash Requirements from Start-up$267 000
Additional Cash Raised$22 100
Cash Balance on Starting Date$14 560
Liabilities and Capital
Liabilities$41 000
Current Borrowing$0
Long-term Liabilities$0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)$29 000
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)$0
Planned Investment$882 400
Investor 1$0
Investor 2$0
Additional Investment Requirement$0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)($99 706)
Total Funding$882 400

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Services for Customers

If you are thinking about opening a nursery, you must first decide the services which you’ll be providing. Mentioning them clearly in the form of a business plan for plant nursery is preferable as it can give you an idea about the things which will be needed in starting nursery business.


We know it’s confusing to decide which sort of plants and products to showcase, so that everyone can find the things of their interest. Therefore, we’re providing here a sample nursery business plan of a startup, Flora Mart, so that you can get idea about services which can prove profitable these days.

Services listed in business plan of Flora Mart are as:

  • Bedding Plants: Flora mart will keep seasonal bedding plants by amassing different colored flowers and leaves to create visually appealing flower beds.
  • General Vegetation: We’ll be selling seedlings of general indoor and outdoor plants such as spider plant, Dracaena, Jade plant, African Violet, Boston Fern etc.
  • Seeds: We’ll keep seeds of all almost types of carnivorous plants, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
  • Landscaping Services: We’ll be providing professional gardeners to set up lawn and vegetation according to customer’s land and space.
  • Garden Accessories: We will be keeping all the things that one can need in landscaping and gardening such as water sprinkler, pressure sprayer, seedling trays, lawn mowers, hand diggers, electric dust blowers, hydroponic trays, soils, grass patches, organic & inorganic fertilizers, plastic and sand-made pots of every size and shapes, hanging plant containers and garden stones.
  • Purchasing through App & Delivery Services: Customers can also avail our services by making a purchase using our app and get it delivered to their door.

Marketing Analysis of Plant Nursery Business

Landlord business plan

4.1 Market Trends

In other words, the entrepreneur who wants to start a commercial nursery or greenhouse has many options. The key is to develop an operation capable of generating revenue year round for maximum profitability. For example, the owner could sell spring, summer, and fall flowers and shrubs, pumpkins and fall varieties in October, and Christmas trees in December. These are the types of topics covered in the plant nursery business plan.

4.2 Marketing Segmentation

Just owning a nursery isn’t sufficient to generate desired profits. To be successful, you must have to analyze your target customers before you actually start your business. It can help you in devising policies and in adorning your place.

Also your plant nursery requirements can vary according to your target market. For instance, if you aim at targeting companies then it’ll be good to create a fine reception space and keeping formal and eye-refreshing indoor plants.

Target groups of Flora Mart are given here:

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

4.2.1 Home Owners: The first group of our customers will be the people living in our city, Seattle. This group of general population is expected to purchase our products, seeds, and seedlings as well to avail our gardening services to adorn their in and outdoor space with natural beauty.

4.2.2 Institutes: The second category includes research and educational institutes who can buy our plants and will also avail our landscaping services to create refreshing view in their departments.

4.2.3 Companies: Our third target category includes companies and offices who always leave a big space for a beautiful lawn and eye-catching entrance. They are expected to make big purchases with us.

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4.2.4 Event Organizers: Our last category to target will be the event organizers in restaurants or in homes. For beautifying space naturally for parties, weddings and other events they’ll be needing our plant beds, prepared grass patches, and our landscaping services.

The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowthYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5CAGR
Home Owners35%29 98533 09638 02843 06447 3929%
Institutes27%23 13125 53129 33633 22136 5608%
Companies27%23 13125 53129 33633 22136 5608%
Event Organizers11%9 42410 40211 95213 53414 89513%
Total100%85 67094 560108 650123 040135 40611%

4.3 Business Target

Defining measurable, realistic and achievable goals before starting a nursery business can keep you working in a high spirit. Assessing your performance after the time you had set to achieve your goals can also help in bettering the coordination among you and you employees.

Business Targets set by Flora Mart are:

  • To earn net profit margin of $20k per month by the end of the first year
  • To maintain an average client rating score of 4.5 out of 5 at the end of first year
  • To increase our sales by 20% every 2 months

4.4 Product Pricing

Our prices will be just comparable with the other nursery businesses running in our vicinity. However, we’ve priced our gardening services a little bit higher because we’ll hire highly experienced staff for it.


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Plant Nursery Marketing Strategy

5.1 Competitive Analysis

Before you think about how to start a nursery business, you must first research what your competitors are doing. Only in that case, you’ll be able to do something different.

To take a lead upon its competitors, Flora Mart will introduce app and delivery system so that customers can choose the plants while sitting at their location and get it delivered in almost no time. Secondly, Flora mart will be providing landscaping services for events and ceremonies which no one in the vicinity is providing. Lastly, the business will ensure exceptional customer service – valuing the client’s satisfaction more than anything else.

5.2 Sales Strategy

The strategy you’ll be adopting in order to sell your services must also be covered in your garden nursery business plan.

We’re listing some effective measures from sample garden center business plan of Flora Mart which will be taken to bring the target customers to its site.

  • Company’s services will be advertised in magazines and local newspaper
  • Strong presence on the web and social media will be ensured
  • On every shopping above $80, free delivery within 10km distance will be provided
  • 20% discount will be offered on our landscaping services for the first two months

5.3 Sales Forecast

Our sales are forecasted in the following column charts:

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Unit Sales

The detailed information about sales forecast is given in the following table:

Sales Forecast
Unit SalesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Bedding Plants, Seeds & General Vegetation2 3402 4502 590
Landscaping Services630680760
Garden Accessories610656765
Delivery through App434510610
TOTAL UNIT SALES4 0144 2964 725
Unit PricesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Bedding Plants, Seeds & General Vegetation$135,00$141,75$148,84
Landscaping Services$310,00$325,50$341,78
Garden Accessories$490,00$514,50$540,23
Delivery through App$305,00$320,25$336,26
Bedding Plants, Seeds & General Vegetation$315 900,00$347 287,50$385 489,13
Landscaping Services$195 300,00$221 340,00$259 749,00
Garden Accessories$298 900,00$337 512,00$413 272,13
Delivery through App$132 370,00$163 327,50$205 120,13
TOTAL SALES$942 470,00$1 069 467,00$1 263 630,38
Direct Unit CostsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Bedding Plants, Seeds & General Vegetation$95,00$99,75$104,74
Landscaping Services$210,00$220,50$231,53
Garden Accessories$367,00$385,35$404,62
Delivery through App$230,00$241,50$253,58
Direct Cost of Sales
Bedding Plants, Seeds & General Vegetation$222 300,00$244 387,50$271 270,13
Landscaping Services$132 300,00$149 940,00$175 959,00
Garden Accessories$223 870,00$252 789,60$309 532,39
Delivery through App$99 820,00$123 165,00$154 680,75
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$678 290,00$770 282,10$911 442,26

5.4 Sales Monthly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Sales Monthly

5.5 Sales Yearly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Sales Yearly

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Personnel plan

Before starting a plant nursery business it’s essential to create an effective personnel plan to ensure that you’ll be hiring the right persons while paying them a fair amount. Because it is something that can affect your business in the long run.

The personnel plan developed by Denzel Sean, the owner of Flora Mart, is given in this sample nursery business plan.

6.1 Company Staff

  • 2 Accountants to maintain financial records
  • 1 Web Developer to run company’s app and websites
  • 2 Drivers for providing Home Delivery
  • 4 Gardeners to cultivate plants
  • 1 Horticulturist to supervise hard-to-grow plants
  • 1 Landscaping Expert to set up lawn design ideas
  • 1 Sales Executives to market and to find new ventures
  • 3 Assistants to do day-to-day tasks
  • 3 Cleaners to clean the facility
  • 1 Receptionist

6.2 Average Salary of Employees

 Personnel Plan
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Accountants$23 500$24 205$24 931
Web Developer$20 000$20 600$21 218
Drivers$25 600$26 368$27 159
Gardeners$34 000$35 020$36 071
Horticulturist$14 000$14 420$14 853
Landscaping Expert$12 000$12 360$12 731
Sales Executives$23 000$23 690$24 401
Assistants/Receptionist$19 000$19 570$20 157
Cleaners$18 000$18 540$19 096
Total Salaries$189 100$194 773$200 616

Financial Plan

The last step in making an effective nursery project plan is to make a detailed fianancial plan listing accurate statistics of your investments, expenses, and expected profit margins. For the sake of completeness its good to include at least 3 year forecast in your nursery business model. Your plan should cover details of how you’ll be managing your financial goals and increments in your employee’s salaries within the expected profits. It should also give a clear idea of amount that you can need to increase your product line. Moreover, the strategy to be followed if you fail to generate enough revenue for your business must also be included in the financial plan.

7.1 Important Assumptions

 General Assumptions
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Plan Month123
Current Interest Rate9,95%10,10%10,23%
Long-term Interest Rate9,20%9,34%9,85%
Tax Rate20,40%22,10%23,60%

7.2 Brake-even Analysis

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Break-even Analysis

 Break-Even Analysis
Monthly Units Break-even7600
Monthly Revenue Break-even$122 000
Average Per-Unit Revenue$186,00
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$1,01
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$167 000

7.3 Projected Profit and Loss

 Pro Forma Profit And Loss
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Sales$942 470$1 069 467$1 263 630
Direct Cost of Sales$678 290$770 282$911 442
TOTAL COST OF SALES$678 290$770 282$911 442
Gross Profit$264 180$299 185$352 188
Gross Margin %28,03%27,98%27,87%
Payroll$189 100$194 773$200 616
Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses$1 670$1 720$1 760
Depreciation$1 900$1 940$2 050
Leased Equipment$0$0$0
Utilities$3 600$3 700$3 965
Insurance$1 670$1 750$1 855
Rent$6 000$6 540$6 895
Payroll Taxes$31 240$34 010$36 050
Total Operating Expenses$235 180$244 433$253 191
Profit Before Interest and Taxes$29 000$54 752$98 997
EBITDA$30 900$56 692$101 047
Interest Expense$0$0$0
Taxes Incurred($5 800)($10 950)($19 799)
Net Profit$23 200$43 802$79 198
Net Profit/Sales2,46%4,10%6,27%

7.3.1 Profit Monthly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Profit Monthly

7.3.2 Profit Yearly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Profit Yearly

7.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

7.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

7.4 Projected Cash Flow

Garden Nursery Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

 Pro Forma Cash Flow
Cash ReceivedYear 1Year 2Year 3
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales$36 500$38 000$41 000
Cash from Receivables$6 000$6 400$7 200
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received$0$0$0
New Current Borrowing$0$0$0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free)$0$0$0
New Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
Sales of Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Sales of Long-term Assets$0$0$0
New Investment Received$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED$48 900$50 450$54 630
ExpendituresYear 1Year 2Year 3
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending$19 840$19 940$21 450
Bill Payments$13 450$14 325$15 630
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out$0$0$0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Purchase Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Purchase Long-term Assets$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT$34 560$36 755$38 910
Net Cash Flow$13 000$14 500$16 400
Cash Balance$22 000$23 500$24 900

7.5 Projected Balance Sheet

 Pro Forma Balance Sheet 
AssetsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Assets
Cash$174 320$182 000$193 500
Accounts Receivable$11 980$12 870$13 690
Inventory$12 340$13 430$14 560
Other Current Assets$1 150$1 300$1 580
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS$148 650$156 950$185 600
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets$10 000$10 000$10 000
Accumulated Depreciation$11 800$12 340$13 245
TOTAL ASSETS$180 510$230 000$245 940
Liabilities and CapitalYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable$8 825$9 856$10 340
Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
TOTAL LIABILITIES$8 825$9 856$10 340
Paid-in Capital$23 495$28 560$35 560
Retained Earnings$51 930$57 630$64 453
Earnings$87 640$93 450$119 600
TOTAL CAPITAL$182 500$227 690$250 864
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL$186 500$246 543$263 422
Net Worth$177 400$204 344$218 500

7.6 Business Ratios

 Ratio Analysis
Sales Growth4,12%4,53%5,03%5,11%
Percent of Total Assets
Accounts Receivable5,23%5,75%6,38%6,49%
Other Current Assets1,72%1,89%2,10%2,13%
Total Current Assets129,00%141,90%157,38%160,09%
Long-term Assets-8,90%-9,79%-10,86%-11,04%
TOTAL ASSETS93,00%102,30%113,46%115,41%
Current Liabilities4,70%5,17%5,73%5,83%
Long-term Liabilities0,00%0,00%0,00%23,00%
Total Liabilities4,71%5,18%5,75%5,85%
NET WORTH94,03%103,43%114,72%116,69%
Percent of Sales
Gross Margin91,20%100,32%111,26%0,00%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses70,50%77,55%86,01%87,49%
Advertising Expenses1,92%2,11%2,34%2,38%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes20,41%22,45%24,90%2,30%
Main Ratios
Total Debt to Total Assets1,98%0,58%0,23%63,00%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth63,45%69,80%77,41%4,02%
Pre-tax Return on Assets61,22%67,34%74,69%6,10%
Additional RatiosYear 1Year 2Year 3
Net Profit Margin17,90%19,69%21,84%NA
Return on Equity45,60%50,16%55,63%NA
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover4,34,30%4,30%NA
Collection Days87,5691,00%94,00%NA
Inventory Turnover18,0122,00%23,10%NA
Accounts Payable Turnover12,7413,40%14,90%NA
Payment Days232323NA
Total Asset Turnover1,341,211,11NA
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth0-0,01%0,00%NA
Current Liab. to Liab.111NA
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital$165 780$171 000$202 100NA
Interest Coverage000NA
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales0,3980,440,53NA
Current Debt/Total Assets4%3%3%NA
Acid Test21,6723,4826,74NA
Sales/Net Worth1,471,20,78NA
Dividend Payout000NA

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